Welcome to the Board! YES!!! YOU ARE DEFINITELY SUFFERING FROM REBOUND HEADACHES!!! Excedrine is the biggest culprit of rebound because of the high dose of caffeine it contains. It takes your headache away quickly, but when the effect of the pills peter out, you are left with another headache. This is not a migraine headache. It is much less severe, but can be just as annoying. Your plan to taper off the Excedrine is an excellent one, however, it sounds like you might be very sensitive to caffeine. You might want to examine how much caffeine you consume on a daily basis from all source, and try to cut down on that as well. Don't waste the triptans unless you are hit very quickly with extreme pain.
Good Luck and let us know how it goes.
If you are not comfortable with your doctor, or even remotely questioning his/her ability...it's time to fire them and find a new one!
First, the Excedrin is working as well, if not better because they ARE rebound headaches. If they were migraines, the triptans would work better. And NO, not all headaches are migraines!
I think you are doing the right thing, reading up and doing what you need to do to get your questions answered. Reading books, doing research online and finding support (US!!!)
Rebounds: you need to completely be off of EVERYTHING for at least two weeks...now, as far as how to do that, IS something you need to discuss with a qualified professional, which one is up to you. I have written some information on a few of the threads regarding rebounds.
(I am NOT, by any means a professional, however I have dealt with this for 14 years and get all of my information from professional resources and would not post it here unless I had some solid backbone to go on...saying that much...I know that the rebounds can be as bad as migraines themselves. I suffered with them terribly more than once for legitimate medical reasons, one time...I had kidney problems and after being on continuous pain meds I ended up having horrible migraines and rebounds!) They are not at all fun, but getting them handled sooner than later is the best situation.
My advice is the same as Leigh Ann and Sara. It does sound like you have Rebound Headaches. Unfortunately Triptan medications also cause rebound headaches, so it won't matter which medication you take, the headache will return. As my neurologist tells me you can only get one rebound headache at a time.
The challenge with Excedrin is that it contains caffeine, so not only are you suffering from the pain medication but also the caffeine. I take Tylenol with Codeine which also contains caffeine and my neurologist tells me that the three wicked devices are acetaminophen, codeine and caffeine that will put you into a bad rebound cycle. Unfortunately you have two of them in your Excedrin.
I highly recommend your slow decrease. I have tried cold turkey and always end up in a doctor's office really sick. Do it as quickly or slowly as you can manage. Don't punish your body. If during your withdrawal you get a really bad headache - i.e. migraine, you are nauseaus (I'm sorry if that's spelled wrong) and you need to be in a dark room, sounds bother you, then take the triptans. Try your best not to take the Excedrin.
Good luck. Keep in touch and let us know how it goes.
Well I went two weeks without taking any pain killer (getting off the rebound problem). I had only a couple of very mild headaches after the first few days of withdrawl. Last night I got my first real headache, and I took two Excedrins which worked quickly and completely. I understand from previous advice that I should wait five days before taking any pain killer again to avoid getting into another rebound trap, the 2/5 formula. Correct? Thanks!